Is Gilas ready for FIBA Asia?
MANILA, Philippines -- It's less than a week before the war for slots to the 2014 FIBA World Cup begins, with the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships promising to be 11 days of attrition, excitement and thrill.
What is exactly on the minds of those involved in this momentous campaign to bring the Philippines back to the basketball map just a few days before their huge battle? Rappler talked to them and this is what we got.
Chot Reyes, head coach: We're just trying to improve every day. Just continue praying for us and wishing us the best. We need everybody.
Butch Antonio, team manager: We just have to fine tune some things and get into our game. Games in the FIBA Asia are going to be more fierce. We will do our best to reclaim Asian glory in the field of basketball.
Josh Reyes, assistant coach: The jitters are out. We're just tightening on everything. We're doing things good, we have to do it better. Just keep on supporting us. Everything we do is towards the goal of making it to the World Cup.
Jong Uichico, assistant coach: We'll be 100% ready. We are peaking at the right time.
Norman Black, team consultant: We wanted a fast game and the team did a pretty good job (against Kazakhstan). The players are working hard every day and preparations are on target. We're pretty ready already.
Rajko Toroman, former head coach: Gilas is looking good and shooting very well. There are no 'best' teams. We just have to make adjustments because we still don't have a balanced inside-outside game. But it's just a minor problem.
Jimmy Alapag, team captain: Our execution is better. Like what I've said since Day One, the goal is to make it to the finals or the top 3 and make our country proud. There's gonna be no other crowd like here in our country. Every day will be different. We will do whatever it takes.
Gabe Norwood, guard-forward: We're getting some respect internationally, but we got to come out and prove it. It can be a nice compliment, but we got to play. Thank you so much for your prayers and we need you for the next 14 days. All the way until the end.
Gary David, guard: We have to make sacrifices. Everyone dreams of playing for the national team and when you seen fans come out and support us, all the hard work is worth it. We hope to have more people support us come the FIBA Asia.
Marc Pingris, forward: I've been working hard and I hope I improve my defense more for the FIBA Asia. This is very special to me because I want to make history. We need all the support from Filipinos. This is for us.
Marcus Douthit, center: We're not worried about being the team to beat. We just gotta handle ourselves first. I just hope everyone comes down and support us. I'm really looking forward to playing for them.
What is your message for the Gilas Pilipinas crew? Leave them in the comments section below. - Rappler.com